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Singapore = Global Torture Hub

Oliver Fricker has been sentenced to 5 months in jail and 3 strokes of the cane

In that light, I would now like everyone to watch this video: HERE.

Now tell me if you think such treatment does not disregard human rights standards. Tell me if you don’t think this is torture, or cruel and inhumane punishment. Tell me if you think this is something that developed and civilised societies do. Tell me if you believe he deserves it.

BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO HIM, JUST BECAUSE HE SPRAYED SOME PAINT ON A MRT.

It is completely sickening. I can’t believe that we are going to inflict such an archaic and utterly barbaric punishment for such a petty crime that did not even hurt anyone (and almost went undetected). It is so completely overblown – and I’m not saying this because he is a foreigner. It is completely overblown as a punishment foranyone, and it disgusts me that my country would do something like this to a person, and think it NECESSARY.

And as if that weren’t enough, this is coming along with the fact that no one in SMRT or our great government seems to be taking the responsibility or getting punished at all. By spray painting the train Fricker unwittingly did us a great service by exposing the flaws in our national security, yet not a single one of our grossly overpaid authorities is being held accountable for it (just like they aren’t being held accountable for the escape of Mas Selamat, or the floods, or anything else that has gone wrong). If we really want to make an example out of Fricker to deter others from trespassing and vandalism, then I believe that it is only fair that someone from SMRT or the government be publicly punished, to serve as an example for other complacent officials or authority figures who might be slacking on the job. Yet that is not happening. Instead, there is this:

Highest paid SMRT CEO

MS SAW Phaik Hwa, 55, was paid $1.67 million last year, including stock options, making her the highest-grossing chief executive that public transport operator SMRT Corp has ever employed.

Her deputy, Mr Yeo Meng Hin, 46, whose responsibilities include safety, emergency planning and security, took home $970,272 – making him the second best paid executive onboard.

The remuneration details were listed in SMRT Corp’s latest annual report. Compared to the year before, Ms Saw’s package was 7.1 per cent higher while Mr Yeo’s grew by 13.3 per cent. Their compensation includes bonuses, benefits and company shares.

Remuneration for the company’s top five executives, excluding Ms Saw’s, totalled $3.2 million – 17.2 per cent higher than the previous year’s. SMRT’s total wage bill grew by 6.3 per cent to $294.8 million over the same period.

While previous annual reports did not provide detailed breakdowns of top-level remuneration, Ms Saw’s predecessors – Mr Boey Tak Hap and Mr Kwek Siew Jin – were paid around $570,000 before share options.

Before share options, Ms Saw’s package last year came up to $1.43 million. This compares favourably with what her counterpart at transport giant ComfortDelGro Corp got. Its chief executive, Mr Kua Hong Pak, 66, was paid between $1.75 million and $1.99 million last year, excluding options.

It is appalling. If the executives are getting such high pay, there is all the more reason for them to be punished and held accountable for the security lapse. It is their responsibility to ensure that the millions of Singaporeans, PRs, foreigners and tourists who take public transport are protected and as safe as possible. It is their job to ensure that all their staff are vigilant, well-informed and on the ball. It is completely inadequate and unacceptable for them to think that we were all safe just because they’d made a video about looking out for terrorists to be played in MRT stations. After all, the public isn’t getting paid millions to ensure the security of the public transport system – they are.

But instead of getting an apology from SMRT or our government (and I mean a proper apology, and not a “regret”), all we Singaporeans got were great performances of tai chi as the blame was pushed around – government suddenly wants nothing to do with SMRT, SMRT and security companies say Singaporeans are getting complacent, etc. A review of the system has been promised, but have we seen any evidence of this review, or received any details of what exactly is going to be done? As far as I can see, the only difference between before and after this incident is that there is now a guy in a vest at my usual MRT station who shouts, “DOOR CLOSING! BE CAREFUL!” as the doors close and the train pulls away. Hardly makes me feel more safe. The only reason I haven’t stopped taking the MRT is because I HAVE NO CHOICE.

And now Singapore is all over the international news, and the whole world is going to read about us caning a guy for graffiti. Once again, we are going to be made a global laughingstock, a tiny country with delusions of grandeur and a mindset that belongs in the 17th century.

Seems like Singapore is a lot closer to being a Torture Hub than a Arts Hub or Business Hub.

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By Kirsten Han

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